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University Physics I

PHYS 2203


General Information

Course Description

Texts and Materials

Course Requirements 

Course Objectives

Teaching Methods 

Course Outline

General Information

Course:               University Physics I, 3 credits (4 hours lecture, 3 hours corequisite laboratory)

Semester:           Fall 2010

Lecture:              PHYS 2203.21

Laboratory:       PHYS 2201.xx (various sections are available: see WebAdvisor)

Syllabus:             http://theflorys.org/David.Flory/University_Physics_I_Syllabus_Flory.php


Prerequisite:      Calculus is recommended. At a minimum, it must be taken concurrently.

Corequisite:      MATH 2201, Calculus I, and PHYS 2201, Physics Laboratory I.

Requirement:   Students must have an FDU WebMail account and access to WebCampus/Bb.


Class times:       Mon & Wed, 11:00 am to 12:50 pm in Becton 205

Lab times:          Various sections are available: see WebAdvisor

Instructor:         Prof. David Flory

Office:                Becton Hall, Room 111 (In the basement)

Mail Stop:          T-BE2-03

Office Hours:   Mon & Wed 1:00-2:00 pm, Tue 2:30-3:30 pm.

                              Other times by appointment.

Telephone:        201-692-7064

Email:                 mailto:flory@fdu.edu

Web page:          http://TheFlorys.org/David.Flory/

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Course Description

The first half of a two-semester, calculus based physics course for science and engineering majors. Topics normally covered include: units and dimensions, forces and motion in one and two dimensions, vectors, momentum and center of mass, work, kinetic energy and the work-energy theorem, potential energy and the conservation of energy, rotation and moment of inertia, torque and angular momentum, gravitation, oscillations, elasticity, fluids, heat, kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics. Corequisite: Physics Laboratory I and Calculus I. Lecture 3 credits, 4 hours. Laboratory 1 credit, 3 hours.

This course sequence satisfies the physics requirement for curricula that require a year of calculus-based physics with a laboratory. This includes most pre-professional options. 

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Texts and Materials

Main Text:        Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics and MasteringPhysics™ (2nd Edition)

Author:              Randall D. Knight, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Publisher:           Pearson/Addison-Wesley (San Francisco, 2008)

ISBN-10:           0-321-51333-9

ISBN-13:           978-0-321-51333-5


Web Site:           MasteringPhysics™ Students are required to have an access code to this web site either as part of a new textbook package or, if a used book was purchased, as a separate item. The MasteringPhysics web site has extensive material to support the course including: tutorials, animations, and an extensive set of exercises and problems with hints, help, and answers. It also has the complete text available on-line. Homework will be assigned from MasteringPhysics.

The primary required text for University Physics. This text is designed for a calculus-based physics course at the beginning university and college level. It is written with the expectation that students have either taken or are currently taking a beginning course in calculus.

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Supplement:     Physlet® Physics, 1/e

Authors:             Wolfgang Christian

                              Mario Belloni

                              both of Davidson College

Publisher:           Pearson/Prentice Hall (2004).

ISBN:                  0-13-101969-4

This book and CD package furnishes students with a host of interactive, computer-based exercises and study resources that span the entire introductory physics curriculum. Using a practical yet engaging structure, Physlet Physics presents a wide spectrum of “media-focused” critical thinking and problem-solving exercises, and provides students with an interactive visual representation of the physical phenomena they see in introductory physics textbooks. 

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Math:                  Mathematics for Physics with Calculus

Author:              Biman Das, SUNY Potsdam

Publisher:           Pearson/Prentice Hall (2004).

ISBN:                  0-13-191336-0

Designed for students who plan to take or who are presently taking calculus-based physics courses. This book will develop necessary mathematical skills and help students gain the competence to use precalculus, calculus, vector algebra, vector calculus, and the statistical analysis of experimental data. Students taking intermediate physics, engineering, and other science courses will also find the book useful—and will be able to use the book as a mathematical resource for these intermediate level courses. The book emphasizes primarily the use of mathematical techniques and mathematical concepts in Physics and does not go into their rigorous developments.



Laboratory:       Physics Laboratory Manual I, PHYS 2201 

Authors:             Physics Staff 

Publisher:           School of Natural Sciences

                              University College

                              Fairleigh Dickinson University


Resources:          http://TheFlorys.org/David.Flory/Physics.Resources.php 

Web Site:           http://TheFlorys.org/David.Flory/Physics.php


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Course Requirements

Students are required to obtain an FDU Webmail account. This allows access to FDU’s Webcampus and the Blackboard web site for the course. The email facilities of Blackboard will be used to communicate with students and the material on the site is highly recommended. Students who do not wish to use or check their FDU email can set up auto-forwarding to another email address of their choice.


Each student in University Physics must register for a section of laboratory. The laboratory is a mandatory co-requisite.

Attendance in lecture is required. Students are expected to arrive on time for all classes. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off at all times in lab and lecture.

There will be five examinations, one every third Wednesday at 12:00 noon. Each exam will cover the previous three week’s work. The exams will be multiple choice. They will emphasize understanding of the material covered. Practice exams will be available on Web Campus. The exams will be closed book. A calculator is mandatory. Cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, and any devices with cellular or wireless access are forbidden.The course grade will be determined from the average of the grades from the exams. The University has a formal Grade Appeal Procedure for appealing a course grade.

Fairleigh Dickinson University has an Academic Integrity Policy that each student must read and understand. It can be found in the Academic Regulations section of the Metropolitan Campus Student Handbook on the FDU web site.

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Course Objectives

The overall objectives of University Physics are to present in a quantitative format the primary laws of physics that underlay all of the other sciences.

[Under construction].

            Show the way science progresses from observation and classification of phenomena through model building to the development of comprehensive theories that can explain and predict and that can be tested by experiment.

            Discuss the criteria for a successful scientific theory and apply those criteria to the real world.

            Apply the methods and procedures of science through elementary laboratory exercises and observation. Analyze simple experiments and discuss whether they support or confront a theoretical prediction.

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Teaching Methods

University Physics is taught as a formal lecture supplemented with some demonstrations and audio/visual materials. Questions are welcomed. Homework will be assigned using the text’s MasteringPhysics™ web system. The homework will be marked and graded for completeness but not for correctness. Problems that proved difficult will be solved in class.

The student is expected to read the text along with the lectures. The lectures will be easier to understand if you read the text first.. There are also several supplements to the text that are available. In particular, the text’s site MasteringPhysics™ is required.

Questions to the instructor about the course and its content are to be asked in class, during office hours, or using the WebCampus/Bb Discussion Board for the section. This will allow all members of the class to benefit from the answers. Email should be reserved for private questions involving items like individual grades.

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Course Outline

Part I: Newton's Laws

1. Concepts of Motion

2. Kinematics in One Dimension

3. Vectors and Coordinate Systems

4. Kinematics in Two Dimensions

5. Force and Motion

6. Dynamics I: Motion Along a Line

7. Newton's Third Law

8. Dynamics II: Motion in a Plane


Part II: Conservation Laws

9. Impulse and Momentum

10. Energy

11. Work


Part III: Applications of Newtonian Mechanics

12. Rotation of a Rigid Body

13. Newton's Theory of Gravity

14. Oscillations

15. Fluids and Elasticity


Part IV: Thermodynamics

16. A Macroscopic Description of Matter

17. Work, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics

18. The Micro/Macro Connection

19. Heat Engines and Refrigerators


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©2008-2014 David Flory.   Last modified on Jul 23, 2016, 1:26 am.